Journal of Romance Studies

Landscapes of desapropiación

Necropolitics and hydropoetics in recent Mexican documentary film

Journal of Romance Studies (2021), 21, (2), 263–290.

Abstract

This article compares two documentary films characterised by entanglements of landscapes, water and violent loss: Tatiana Huezo’s Tempestad [Tempest] (2016) and Betzabé García’s Los reyes del pueblo que no existe [Kings of Nowhere] (2015). Huezo lingers over different landscapes to evoke a dispersive cartography of dispossession existing beneath the surface of political visibility in contemporary Mexico. García’s documentary focuses on infrastructural and criminal violence in San Marcos, Sinaloa, a ghosted town that was flooded following the construction of the Picachos dam. The landscapes appearing in both films are strewn with different bodies of water and composed of discarded, decaying and ruined forms. Drawing on Jill Casid’s work on ‘necrolandscaping’ (2018) and Cristina Rivera Garza’s concept of desapropiación (2013), I deploy the concept of ‘landscapes of desapropiación’ to theorise how Huezo and García marshal deformative landscapes to index violence from a remove in the context of representation’s practical and ethical fragmentation.

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Filmography

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Details

Author details

Bollington, Lucy